A deepened collaboration with the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship is one of the major initiatives of a $168,000 grant to the School of Engineering from the Kern Family Foundation. Aimed at promoting entrepreneurial thinking in the undergraduate engineering experience, work over 17 months will involve curriculum development and support for engineering students and faculty to help drive an entrepreneurial culture across campus.

“We believe that this first step, when coupled with the upcoming work, will form the basis for a long lasting, meaningful partnership as we shape the future of engineering education,” the Kern Family Foundation wrote in awarding the School of Engineering the grant.

The proposal objectives highlight a deepened collaboration with the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship in getting more engineering students involved with the Freshmen Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and the Fowler Business Concepts Challenge.

“We have forged a great relationship between the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and the School of Engineering. This award will help us accelerate our progress and raise our collaboration to the next level,” said Brian Abraham, associate dean of entrepreneurship.

As part of the grant, St. Thomas will join the KEEN network of 20 engineering schools throughout the nation that are developing similar programming. Members of the network meet annually and offer jointly attended workshops to share best practices and results of their work in advancing entrepreneurial thinking in engineering. Members of the network include Bucknell University, Santa Clara University, University of Dayton and Marquette University.

School of Engineering dean Don Weinkauf said that he and Drs. Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman and Kundan Nepal will begin work on the project in September.

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